As we are all very much aware, the world is going through a defining period, with issues arising due to the coronavirus pandemic. It is not only leading to lockdowns around the world but also sports cancelling events. The European championships and Olympics were two of the biggest event set for 2020, but have now both been moved to next year. The Wimbledon tennis tournament has also been cancelled, which means it is the first time this has happened since the second world war, giving further examples of the situation faced around the world at present.
The racing world is also seeing issues, with the Grand national having been cancelled. This meant that Tiger Roll would not have the opportunity to win a record breaking third Grand national victory in succession and further cement his legendary status. Instead he could now be retired, as that had been the plan prior to the cancellation. They could give him another opportunity and keep him in training next season, so it will be interesting as to which option connections go for, with the latter now looking most likely.
The Cheltenham festival did take place in the early period of March, which led to very mixed views, as to whether this should have gone ahead. This was in the very early stages of the pandemic but many events around the same time had been called off. There was also a betting market on the event, which proved hugely popular amongst punters, who cashed in on the event going ahead, with many also using a bet calculator for their selections across the week. Despite the crises, the festival was very well attended with mass crowds on each of the four days. That is likely to be the end of the action in the national hunt season, with just Punchestown yet to call of their marquee fixtures, that takes place a few weeks after the Grand national meeting.
Another market has been opened up to whether the Royal meeting will go ahead at Ascot racecourse. According to this, it would appear that it is seriously under threat, with the meeting set to start on the 16th of June. It is an event that is attended from fans around the world and they travel over from the likes of the USA, Australia and Japan. This is why the pandemic will need to have stopped in order for this event to go ahead.
It certainly is a troubled time for the world and sport in general. Let’s hope this returns soon and racing can kick start again.